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What you need to know.

Ayahuasca Ceremony at Modern Ancient Sanctuary in Iquitos, Peru

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances. However, it is important to acknowledge that these substances also carry inherent risks and are not suitable for everyone.

Although sacred medicine may have potential benefits, it is crucial to understand that it is not universally safe for all individuals. Thorough evaluation of high-risk contraindications and mental health considerations is necessary before consuming sacred medicine. This confirms that individuals are consuming the medicine safely and with minimized risk of adverse effects.

We aim to provide a safe and supportive environment for everyone involved.

IMPORTANT: See our detailed guide to contraindications including medications, food, herbs and vaccines. 


Meditation at Modern Ancient Sanctuary in Iquitos, Peru
Ayahuasca Ceremonial Safety at Modern Ancient Sanctuary in Iquitos, Peru

By conducting thorough screenings, we seek to identify potential contraindications or risks and verify that participants are physically and mentally prepared to engage with the medicine. This not only confirms their safety but also maximizes the likelihood of positive and transformative experiences.

Some potential risks and contraindications include:

  • Physiological Risks: These medicines can cause a range of physical symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and elevated blood pressure. In rare cases, other serious risks may materialize.

  • Psychological Risks: Such medicines can cause intense emotional experiences and bring up past traumas that can be difficult to process, leading to potential psychological distress or exacerbation of existing mental health conditions.

  • Contraindications: These medicines can be dangerous for those with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, hypertension, liver disease, and certain mental health conditions. It can also interact with certain medications, including antidepressants and some over-the-counter medicines.

  • Risks of Unsafe or Inappropriate Use: Sacred medicine is traditionally used in a ritual setting, under the guidance of an experienced shaman or facilitator. Using ayahuasca or other sacred medicines outside of these contexts, without proper preparation, guidance, or support, can increase the risk of negative experiences or harm.

Our commitment to our students' personal development includes

prioritizing their safety.


General Contraindications

To confirm your safety, please consult your doctor before discontinuing any prescribed medication. If you decide to stop taking your prescription medication, it is recommended that you do so at least three weeks prior to your ceremony.

Listed below are some of the known contraindications that present serious health and safety risks:

  • Psychosis, bipolar disorders, and related medications

  • Heart conditions

  • Hypertension and related medications

  • Asthma medications

  • Antihistamine medications

  • Recreational drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines and other hallucinogens

Ayahuasca Ceremony at Modern Ancient Sanctuary in Iquitos, Peru
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